I survived the polar vortex that made its way to the Midwest this past week.  You know, the one that had Chicagoans referring to the city as Chiberia?  Yep, I live in range, and weathered temperatures that the Smithsonian pointed out, when factoring in the wind chill, were actually colder than the average temperature on Mars.  Excellent.

Up until then, I had still been on my kitchen cotton knitting bender.  For the past six months or so I have been obsessed with knitting practical, usable kitchen items from cotton, but when the temperature hit eleven-below, I switched gears and got to working on a new pair of wool mittens.

I had a pattern printed out on my table in a stack of knitting stuff, and I decided it would do fine.  (I needed these mittens essentially immediately.)  The pattern had no photos and no description, other than what was implied in the name:  Cabled Camel Mittens.  So the project was like one of those mystery knit alongs, where you just go on faith, line by line, and watch your project unfold before you.  It was actually really fun, and I liked the resulting mittens. 

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I did end up felting them a bit to make them denser since they were not initially as warm as I was hoping they would be and they were also too large for my hands.  It ended up working out perfectly.

This past holiday season, I did some holiday knitting, as usual, which included some charity knitting, which I love to do.  My neighbor asked me to knit for her church bizarre which was being held to raise money for missionary work.  I knit a stack of winter hats, and completely forgot to take any photos, whatsoever.  It was another rushed endeavor, and she came calling for the donation sooner than I was expecting. 

I did take a quick photo of this hat that I made for a friend’s baby this past fall.  I felt pretty clever when I came up with the idea of blocking it on an over-turned Ball jar:

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Incidentally, that same neighbor I mentioned invited me over to knit with her last week, which was really nice of her.  It was the day that the polar vortex came in, and we sat and worked on our projects and watched the storm approach.  I worked on a kitchen towel that I was making.  She was making a gorgeous, sapphire-blue, prayer shawl for another charity project for her church.

I did a lot of crocheting this winter, mainly to make pot holders.  I made a set in slate gray and navy blue for my nephew who just bought a house. (Again, no photos.  I know.  I suck.)  I also made a box full of them to give as gifts for my neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family.  I used this pattern: Crochet Folded Potholder Pattern which I am madly in love with.  Try it.  Trust me. 

I purchased bottles of kitchen hand-soap, and tied a pot holder to each one with a bow and added a gift tag.  They made super-cute gifts, I think, and I loved making them.

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Box of hand-made gifts.

Speaking of pot holders, here is a fancy, pin wheel pot holder/trivot that I made last summer for the Lake County Fair.  Pattern: HERE.  It won second place in a rather large division.  My first ribbon in the crochet division (rather than the knitting divisions).  I was psyched!

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I still have some posting to do on last summer’s fairs.  I won a ton of ribbons, and I have photos that I intended to post sometime. 

A few years ago, one of my very favorite knitting bloggers, who always makes the most amazing stuff, quit posting shortly after she began.  I was so disappointed that I left her a comment, asking her not to stop.  She told me that she just loved knitting so much more than photographing knitting or writing about knitting, or posting about knitting.  I think that’s the mode that I have been in for the last few months.  Lots of knitting.  Not much posting.

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The warm, winter wear line-up, drying by my back door.

Hoping to post again soon,

~Kristen  

 

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